February 14, 2010 12:42:00 AM
February is a romantic month, or so they tell us. It is certainly great for florists, greeting card makers, and chocolatiers. This is the time to declare your love, publicly, with fanfare and élan.
The world looks a bit different these days. I''m not talking about those unexpected puddles of ice in our driveways and along the roads that shatter into jagged shards, like splintered mirrors under the car''s tires. I mean, this is a month when we shamelessly combine red and pink, frilly lace, and trite Victorian images ... and think it all looks quite wonderful together.
It''s fairly easy to proclaim obvious affection. We certainly get enough assistance from retailers and advertisers. Most of us adore our spouses and children. My pets are my darlings. We all have dear friends that we love in a non-romantic way. None of this is a surprise.
However, many of us also conceal at least one unrevealed passion. It may not be a romance in the traditional sense. But the source of ardor is something only the heart understands. Unfortunately, that sort of zeal it is seldom inspired by our "day job."
Every day, my friend, "Miss Moonpie," goes to a conventional job on the Mississippi State University campus. No one there knows that she designs some amazing, fanciful chapeaus. They are magical, a joy to wear. Sometimes seen on the stage of Starkville Community Theatre, or at elegant events around Columbus, these one-of-a-kind headpieces make the wearer feel like a movie queen, red-carpet ready.
Beverly Joyce may be known as the W''s art historian, but her passion is Celtic dancing and all things Gaelic.
In the Golden Triangle there are people who love the Saints or Shelties, Tennessee Williams or Big Band sounds. None of whom make any sort of living from their obsession. More likely, these are pursuits that end up being quite costly. Once again, who can explain that which makes the heart beat faster?
In homage to this theme, "No Dead Authors" presents "Secret Loves," an afternoon of readings by local personalities who are surreptitious authors. All are known in our community, but not for their creative writing.
These three special guests may amaze you. One is a serious news journalist who harbors a covert desire to be a playwright. One is a retired science teacher who writes the most hilarious poetry. The third is a very public, macho-guy lawman with a deeply sensitive side. All have been published.
Don''t be surprised to hear poems that feature local characters (like Roger Larsen), or bits from a short story, with a decidedly Stephen King influence. The themes, like the writers, are undisclosed, to be unveiled later.
Lovers of every sort are invited to the reveal when "No Dead Authors Presents Secret Loves," Sunday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m., at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main St., in Columbus. There will be chocolates for everyone, too, so bring your valentine.
Happy Valentine''s Day to friends and readers, pets, and all my loves! May you realize your desires and indulge your passions. And remember to let your heart lead the journey. It will never disappoint your soul.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.